On a recent family trip we drove past a sub-urban/rural firehouse quite a few times. Each time we passed by, all three rigs were in quarters, sometimes bay doors open, sometimes closed, but I made an important observation I’d like you to confirm for me:
How busy your rig is is inversely noted by how many rig doors are open and how many boots sit outside said doors.
Each time we drove by all 4 doors of the ladder truck were open with boots on the ground and on some passes, even a coat could be seen hanging from the door. This tells me you aren’t running many calls.
When running a large number of calls it is important to keep all your gear safely inside the rig so as not to forget it or have it placed aside when the driver does something without you.
My system has 2 of the Nation’s busiest engine companies and one of the busiest truck companies and they don’t sit with their doors open, gear on the floor because they have become efficient in donning due to their call volume.
I thought back to my early rural days and we almost always put our gear out with the doors open in hopes of a call. Even the other night at the five-one I spotted a door open and we had had a slow day to that point.
Close your doors and put your gear back in the rig. All that “preparation” only telegraphs that you don’t get dressed all that often. Unless of course that’s the only time you get to touch your fire gear aside from the locker.